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Student Research Guide WQ24/ Snapchat and Impacts on Youth Mental Health

Student Research Guide for Library 201/ Alexa Buchanan

What is this Guide for?


Snapchat Impacts Youth Mental Health

 This is a student created research guide for English 102 & Library 201 Learning community

This guide will discuss the development of Snapchat and how its ephemeral features impact youth users.

The focused thesis of this guide is to show the progression of Snapchat and why it is distinct from other social media. It will explore the vulnerability of youth and how Snapchat has taken advantage of this and negatively impacted mental health and social skills of its young users.

The research questions addressed in this guide are:

1. Why was Snapchat created?

2. How is Snapchat different from other social media?

3. Why are youth particularly vulnerable?

4. How does Snapchat impact youth?



The issue regarding Snapchat impacting youth is becoming relevant as it is creating mental health issues for the majority of its users. Snapchat was designed to be different from other media, and its distinct features are what affect youth specifically. Young people are deliberatly influenced by this media. While researching about Snapchat impacts, searching the word Snapchat on many databases will show information about what the app is and the harm it has done. For instance, SVC Databases, Google Scholar, and websites from universities were used to create annotations from 10 sources collected by these databases. The research showed that Snapchat has features specific to the app that are proven to severely impact its users. Generation Z heavily uses Snapchat over other media to communicate with their friends and receive attention. The results of using this app include stress, anxiety, depression, and undesirable behaviors between young people. For the future, awareness of this issue needs to become a priority. A successful way to do this would be educating parents about the harm that can be done to their children if they allow them to use Snapchat. As well as Snapchat incorporated adjusting the app to make more permanent features so that young people do not feel the need to constantly using and checking the app. 

Background Information

Snapchat is a social media app that is commonly used by teenagers to communicate with each other. The app has an engaging short-term nature, which was created in 2011 and has over 300 million users today and is the 3rd most popular social media platform for young people (Dunn et al).

Snapchat has features such as location sharing, image based communication, and filters that entertaining for youth. Additionally, texts and posts are all gone within 24 hours on Snapchat (van Essen et al). These aspects of Snapchat provide an understanding of how the app was intended to be used. 


This video provides information on what Snapchat is and how it can be used. It shows all of the significant features and addresses the ephemeral aspect of the app. 


InsiderTech. (2022). "How To Use Snapchat (2022)". [Video]. Youtube.

All Content CC-BY.